Drug Testing: Reasonable Suspicion
Reasonable suspicion, also termed reasonable cause, is the number way for an employer to identify whether an employee is using drugs or alcohol while working. It protects the rights of both the employer and employee. We highly recommend you do our online or in person Supervisor training which will help guide you in this process.
“Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than an “inchoate and unparticular suspicion or hunch”, it must be based on “specific and articulable facts”, “taken together with rational inferences from those facts, and the suspicion must be associated with the individual”
Eyewitness observation and documentation are needed when dealing with an employee whom you believe is under the influence and who is either just reporting for duty, currently on duty, or has immediately finished duty. A reasonable suspicion or reasonable cause form is used to document observations that include categories like their physical appearance, odors from their breath such as alcohol, and their motor coordination such as ability to walk, balance or turn. Important signs like change in attitude or unusual behavior can be seen as drug or alcohol use indicators as well. We have forms you can download by clicking the button below.
Once facts are documented, the supervisor has to inform the employee suspected of misconduct that he or she will be taken to get drug tested. Tests have to be conducted in a timely manner and the employer will have to provide a staff member or a service agent to take the employee to the testing site and back. We cover this in our Supervisor training which is on our Supervisor Training page as well as tips for Supervisors on the Do’s and Don’ts of Intervention. Click here.